A team of state insurance regulators is trying to figure out how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) might affect — or not — health plans that operate outside the PPACA health insurance exchange system.

PPACA could have a huge impact on many categories of non-exchange plan rules, such as underwriting, but it may have little direct effect on others, such as marketing and provider network standards, according to the Health Care Reform Regulatory Alternatives Working Group.

PPACA will prohibit the "qualified health plans" (QHPs) that sell coverage through PPACA exchanges from employing "marketing practices that discourage enrollment by individuals with significant health needs," but those PPACA provisions "only apply to QHPs" and will have no direct consequence on non-exchange plans, the working group says in a draft non-exchange market paper.

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Allison Bell

Allison Bell, a senior reporter at ThinkAdvisor and BenefitsPRO, previously was an associate editor at National Underwriter Life & Health. She has a bachelor's degree in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She can be reached through X at @Think_Allison.